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Security dog handler loses certification

July 13, 2002|by KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

A Washington County security dog handler has lost his certification to train other handlers after an investigation by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, an official said Friday.

Russ Ebersole, owner of Aberdeen Acres Kennels in Stephenson, Va., and Detector Dogs Against Drugs and Explosives, was certified by the state to train security dog handlers in August 2000, said Leon Baker, chief of the private security section of the Virginia agency.

After receiving three complaints questioning Ebersole's credentials in January, the agency launched an investigation, Baker said. Ebersole's certification was revoked May 10 after the agency determined the signatures on some of his credentials were faked.

There was no answer at Ebersole's Garis Shop Road home Friday.

Baker said he was unsure who lodged the complaints against Ebersole. The Department of Criminal Justice Services is a regulatory agency that certifies public security instructors, Baker said.

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An administrative hearing was held earlier this week. Ebersole's attorney has 30 days in which to submit documents validating his credentials to overturn the suspension, Baker said.

After that the state agency has another 30 days to decide whether the suspension will be permanent.

Detector Dogs Against Drugs and Explosives was founded in 1997 by Ebersole and provides detector dogs to law enforcement agencies, schools and the public.

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